5 doctors weighed in:

Can quitting alcohol cold turkey cause a cardiac arrest?

5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gutti Rao
Internal Medicine - Hospital-based practice
1 doctor agrees

In brief: No

You may have withdrawal which can be controlled with meds.

In brief: No

You may have withdrawal which can be controlled with meds.
Dr. Gutti Rao
Dr. Gutti Rao
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Dr. Michael Klein
Family Medicine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Yes, if indirectly

While many drugs can be stopped cold turkey, almost all will cause some level of withdrawal.
Withdrawal symptoms from narcotic drugs such as heroin or Cocaine can produce diarrhea, chills, nausea or vomiting, but will usually not kill you. Alcohol withdrawal is much more dangerous and can cause seizures and heart arrythmias which can lead to cardiac arrest. Never quit without medical supervision!

In brief: Yes, if indirectly

While many drugs can be stopped cold turkey, almost all will cause some level of withdrawal.
Withdrawal symptoms from narcotic drugs such as heroin or Cocaine can produce diarrhea, chills, nausea or vomiting, but will usually not kill you. Alcohol withdrawal is much more dangerous and can cause seizures and heart arrythmias which can lead to cardiac arrest. Never quit without medical supervision!
Dr. Michael Klein
Dr. Michael Klein
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Dr. Dennis Clifford
Internal Medicine - Pulmonary Critical Care

In brief: Usually not.

Alcohol withdrawal (delirium tremens) can be very serious and usually requires hospitalization.
If the heart has been damaged from alcohol use (alcoholic cardiomyopathy) it is possible that the stress of withdrawal could lead to arrhythmias and cardiac arrest, but this is rare.

In brief: Usually not.

Alcohol withdrawal (delirium tremens) can be very serious and usually requires hospitalization.
If the heart has been damaged from alcohol use (alcoholic cardiomyopathy) it is possible that the stress of withdrawal could lead to arrhythmias and cardiac arrest, but this is rare.
Dr. Dennis Clifford
Dr. Dennis Clifford
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